One of my favorite things about parenting is watching my children’s gifts and talents unfold every day, some remaining constant, some changing as they age. Mitzi’s artistry; Cooper’s coordination; Ellie’s compassion. Joanna has been just so darned cute, just adorable at everything.
Seriously. This kid is louder than any child I’ve had or seen or heard. Ever.
She is a loud kid most of the time, probably because she is number four and needs to be heard. “LOOK DADDY THERE IS YOUR TRAIN STATION!!” “MOMMY I NEED SOME JUICE!” “LET’S GO IN THE POOL!” “GOOD MORNING!” (Interestingly, when she is not yelling, her voice is very tiny and soft, very Hollywood kid-cute.)
But the screams. Geez. Shrill, solid, never-ending. It’s really what pushed her over the edge in the “best tantrum” category. Now that it’s summer and the windows are open almost all the time, I keep expecting DSS to knock on my door any minute, certain a child inside is being harmed.
In public it’s rather embarassing. It’s the sort of scream that doesn’t get me the sympathetic “been-there-done-that” look I usually get from passers-by. No, Joanna’s screams earn us the double-take, the careful look to make sure arms are not dislocated or the child isn’t being abducted. I say things like “Jojo, Mommy is getting very angry and you are getting two checks and a time out!” I look for my other kids to pitch in (Mitzi, tell her to listen to Mommy), to reassure people that this wild, defiant creature does indeed belong to our tribe.
I guess it doesn’t help that she usually screams “Stop!” and “No!”, sprinkled with the banshee wail that lasts longer than you’d think her little lungs could manage.
Sigh. They say the twos are terrible, and I sort of remember Ellie being a challenge last year (weren’t they all, and continue to be in their own unique, talented ways?). I can only hope that Joanna gives up her terrible screaming well before she turns three in nine months.
Until then, maybe I should just buy some ear plugs.